As a child, I remember going outside, playing with my dog, and trying to catch a butterfly. These moments were when I felt the most free.
As soon as I was told to think through reason and common sense, my fantasies dissolved. My dream of battling against monsters in space and saving the world through ancient magic vanished. My teachers, my friends, and the world told me to “grow up”.
When we get older, we are supposed to focus our energy on becoming the “reasonable child”. As the “reasonable child”, we are expected find the faults in our fantasies and we are expected to quickly accept reality. We are forced to stop playing with our imagination.
I quickly found the route of the “reasonable child” to be boring and ridiculous. Being rational is not inherent in a child; playing is. I realized children learned reason through this strenuous system we have today.
I broke out of the system’s trance, but I decided to follow my peers. I “grew up” on the outside, but maintained my “innocence” on the inside.
I attempted to fit in with my peers, but I always knew that preserving this “innocence” made me an outsider.
I found that if I stopped preserving my innocence, my happiness would perish as well. Think about this: a child finds joy in the smallest things, whether it be a bug or a tree. They entertain themselves through the the most nonsensical things. They find the world fascinating. Children laugh 300 to 400 times day!!
When we are born, we are inherently free. But that freedom is slowly taken from us as we become adults.
We lose the essence of innocence: to question the expanding world around us, to laugh at nothing, to become free of the chains forged by reality.
The path of the “reasonable child” and the path of “innocence” contradict each other. The world expects you to reject the path of innocence, but know that by preserving innocence, we preserve our innate freedom.
“If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.” -Albert Einstein